May 6, 2013
Dear Rahm Emmanuel:
We are members of the Northside Meeting of Friends, a Quaker community worshipping near Montrose and Clark for many years. We concerned about the proposal to close 54 CPS Schools.
As Quakers we have a long tradition of “speaking Truth to Power”. We are sure of the truth regarding two aspects of this plan as it stands.
First the plan will put the safety of many Chicago schoolchildren at risk. Chicago is already experiencing a distressing number of children murdered and maimed by the violence in our streets; the consolidation can only exacerbate this problem.
Second implementation of this plan will more sharply divide our city along racial and economic lines. It is difficult to assess the future benefits of closing the schools but it is clear that these closings will undermine Chicago’s fragile civic unity. Given what we have already seen, it is not too much to imagine appropriate protest turning into civic unrest.
Northside Friends urge you to endorse a policy of prudence in this matter. We urge you to support a moratorium of one year before any action on the closings take place. This year will give us all time to ensure that the plans being made for our children’s education are the best available to and to build a consensus of support for future educational reform.
Charlotte Wood-Harrington, Clerk
| From Correspondent Adrian Nelson: |
If you are interested in working with youth outdoors, look no further! Mountain Friends Camp has been run by Friends from Intermountain Yearly Meeting for several years now, and describes itself as: "a residential camp where all are valued and loved as individuals and for the gifts they share. Guided by
| March 24, 2013 |
On February 14, 2013, the Illinois Senate voted 34-21-2 to pass Bill 0110 creating the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act”. The purpose of this act is “to provide same-sex and different-sex couples and their children equal access to the status, benefits, protections, rights, and responsibilities of civil marriage.”
The North Side Friends Meeting endorses this act and has sent a letter to members of the Illinois House of Representitives and to Governor Pat Quinn urging that is be passed and signed into law. The letter, which appears below, bases its support on the deeply held Quaker belief that all people contain “that of God within them” and are entitled to the same socially recognized and guaranteed rights and responsibilities that are a part of marriage. Further the Meeting’s support is grounded in its long history of honoring marriages regardless of gender.
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